Bakersfield, CA

Exploring one of Bakersfield's Oldest Parks - News: Fire Outbreak

Anne Bonfert
Hart Park in BakersfieldSam Valdez/ Unsplash

Who doesn't like meandering through a lovely walk, sitting down in the shade of some old trees, and watching ducks swimming on the lake? Especially on hot summer days, everyone is looking for a place to cool off and just sit back and relax.

Hart Memorial Park in Bakersfield has exactly that to offer. Looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city this park lets you just be. Being one of the oldest parks of the city this park has some history to offer and went through name changes as well.

In 1947 is was created as the Kern River Park and got renamed in 1947 into Hart Park in memorial of Kern County Supervisor John O. Hart.

The park has 370 acres of nature and includes group picnic areas, a nearby living museum, the lake Ming and a reservation center. These two lakes are a living museum itself with countless species of fish and birds home to them. Fishing is allowed on the lakes as long as a state license is held. Wildlife such as foxes, possum, raccoon, beaver, muskrat, skunk, and several birds are home in the park too.

Children's playgrounds are to be found in various locations in the park and picnic areas can be reserved for larger groups. Individual picnic sites with tables are available along with grills and can be a great option for a Sunday lunch. Fires are only allowed at the designated grill areas. If you want to consume alcohol within the park don't forget to require permission for it from the County Park's Division.

The parking lot is at the east park entrance and offers access to hiking and equestrian trails. Restrooms are also found at various spots within the park.

Swimming is allowed in the lakes and the Kern River but it is done at own risk. There are no lifeguards on duty and dangerous currents carry each year several adults and children to their death. Be aware of the dangers of the water and be safe when entering.

Pets are allowed inside this park but dogs must be held on a leash to protect the wildlife in Hart Park.

Several trails run throughout the park and are for different difficulties. Hart Park Trail is a heavily visited trail that has an average length but is a beautiful round trip following several viewpoints and passing countless wildflower fields.

On June 17, a mountain biker had reported a fire inside the park which the fire department was struggling to cut off due to the steepness of the hill. Around 10:30 pm they finally had the fire under control and could extinguish it finally.

The cause of the fire is still unknown but the city is pointing again at the importance of only making fires at designated places in the park due to the high risk of fires especially during the summer months.


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I am a traveler. Photographer. Writer. Teacher. Skydiving instructor. Adventure enthusiast. Nature lover. And fell in love with the African continent. My stories go around travel, nature and all kinds of adventurous activities.


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